The other day, I was asking my husband what he’d like for Christmas. He mentioned that he wanted the iPhone 5, which he’s wanted since his birthday. Once he realized he spent the majority of his money on bills, he instantly got bummed. So he replied “All I want for Christmas is a job.” He got pretty down about it, which he usually doesn’t show to me, but he allowed himself to be vulnerable.

Hubby’s been out of work for 15 months now, the same amount of time I was unemployed before I started my new job. During that time, I was definitely depressed. I know it was hard on him to see me down, and I’m sure it was even tougher to keep me upbeat since I was already being treated for depression. He’s pretty good about hiding his emotions (one of our consistent arguments) but I was definitely caught off guard.

I don’t want hubby to feel defeated, and I know in many cases, a man’s worth is often tied to being able to provide for the family. Fellow blogger Tiya wrote a great article about the do’s and don’ts when dealing with unemployment in a relationship. While we’ve been going through our problems, I was doing something on the don’t list: highlighting the negative. I’m working on the things on the do list, including praying over our marriage and encouraging him.

In our recent arguments, Terrance has mentioned that he does not have the same skills that I have in order to find a job. Skills in social media marketing and freelance writing are in constant demand, so even while I was unemployed, I was still able to pick up some side gigs to make ends meet. His previous jobs were cashier/assistant manager at a grocery store, and general labor at a factory. He gets lots of aches and pains, so working a physically demanding job is not on his wish list.

But I want to keep him motivated. I tell him all he can do is try his best and keep applying, and give it to God. Recently, two of my coworkers were let go because of performance issues, and my supervisor mentioned that we’ll be looking to possibly replace them soon. I let him know about this, and will definitely stay on top of it as far as finding out when we’ll be looking to fill the position. I used to send him job openings I would get via email, but I got tired of him having something to say about every single position, so I stopped. I know he’s frustrated, so I try to be patient.

One way I’ll try to keep hubby motivated is by not putting the pressure on him like I have been doing. I admit, this year has been rough, and I’ve pushed harder than I should regarding him getting a job. However, that approach is not effective, and it doesn’t show support. Outside of that, I’m not really sure how to go about keeping him motivated. I definitely want to encourage him to follow his passion (music), but I’m also concerned about getting back under the same roof.

Do you have tips on keeping your spouse motivated during a hard time?

Photo Attribution: Jtneill via Wikimedia Commons